Birthday Party Checklist

Claire Yezbak Fadden outlines her plan for the perfect party.

One month before

  • Set a budget.
  • Determine the number of guests you plan to invite.
  • Choose a location for the event.
  • Decide on a theme.

Three weeks before

  • Send out your invitations, be certain to include:

–  the day and date;

–  the time the party begins and ends;

– where it will take place;

– directions.

  • Decide on the food you will have. If necessary, contact a caterer and/or place your order for any prepared foods that you plan to serve. Order any special bakery items, including the cake.
  • Book any entertainment or rental supplies that you might need.
  • Purchase the decorations.
  • Decide if your family will need special clothing (or costumes). If so, begin to select those outfits.

One week before

  • Call guests who have not replied to determine if they will be attending.
  • If applicable, confirm any last-minute details with the caterer or party rental or entertainment company.

Two days before

Buy any food, drinks and paper products needed that won’t be provided by the caterer. Double-check your shopping list for last-minute items you might need.

Day of the party

  • Pick up rental items and decorations, such as helium balloons.
  • Decorate your party site.
  • Pick up prepared food items and ice.
  • Set out food and drinks shortly before guests are scheduled to arrive.
  • Get ready for a good time.

About one week after the party if applicable, send out thank-you notes. Include photos from the party, if available.